PCORI's original National Priorities and Research Agenda have guided PCORI for nearly 10 years.

In October 2021, PCORI’s Board of Governors adopted the National Priorities for Health, which serve as ambitious long-term goals to guide PCORI’s funding of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) and other engagement, dissemination and implementation, and research infrastructure initiatives.

Learn More

When finalized, a Research Agenda will provide the framework for advancing this work. The proposed Research Agenda is open for public comment until January 31, 2021.

Our founding National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda, adopted in 2012, is a framework to guide our funding of comparative clinical effectiveness research that will give patients and those who care for them the ability to make better-informed health decisions. The framework was developed by workgroups of our Board of Governors, members of our Methodology Committee, and staff. It was revised in response to public comments and accepted by the Board on May 21, 2012.

Our founding National Priorities were:

  • Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options: Comparing the effectiveness and safety of alternative prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options to see which ones work best for different people with a particular health problem.
  • Improving Healthcare Systems: Comparing health system–level approaches to improving access, supporting patient self-care, innovative use of health information technology, coordinating care for complex conditions, and deploying workforce effectively.
  • Communication and Dissemination Research: Comparing approaches to providing comparative effectiveness research information, empowering people to ask for and use the information, and supporting shared decision making between patients and their providers.
  • Addressing Disparities: Identifying potential differences in prevention, diagnosis, or treatment effectiveness, or preferred clinical outcomes across patient populations and the healthcare required to achieve best outcomes in each population.
  • Accelerating Patient-Centered Outcomes Research and Methodological Research: Improving the nation’s capacity to conduct patient-centered outcomes research, by building data infrastructure, improving analytic methods, and training researchers, patients, and other stakeholders to participate in this research.

These broad areas encompass the patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research we support. As our work progresses and we engage with a broad range of patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders, we may develop additional national priorities for research.

PCORI's Proposed Research Agenda

PCORI’s proposed Research Agenda provides the framework for achieving progress on the National Priorities for Health specifically through the strategy of funding CER and supports PCORI’s unique space in the health research landscape. It endeavors to inform a portfolio of patient-centered research that addresses current unmet information needs of patients, their caregivers, clinicians, purchasers, payers, health researchers, and other healthcare system stakeholders in making personalized healthcare decisions across a wide range of conditions and treatments.

The proposed Research Agenda includes six statements:

  • Fund research that fills patient- and stakeholder-prioritized evidence gaps and is representative of diverse patient populations and settings
  • Fund research that aims to achieve health equity and eliminate health and healthcare disparities
  • Fund research that builds the evidence base for emerging interventions by leveraging the full range of data resources and partnerships
  • Fund research that examines the diverse burdens and clinical and economic impacts important to patients and other stakeholders
  • Fund research that focuses on health promotion and illness prevention by addressing health drivers that occur where people live, work, learn, and play
  • Fund research that integrates implementation science and that advances approaches for communicating evidence so the public can access, understand, and act on research findings

Posted: May 1, 2013; Updated: December 10, 2021

What's Happening at PCORI?

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute sends weekly emails highlighting results of our funded studies, newly funded research and engagement awards, opportunities to apply for funding, stakeholder workshops, and original feature stories about our funded projects.

Sign Up for Updates


Hand pointing to email icon